It’s elder love season as famous Nigerian singer Salawa Abeni has decided to unveil her best-kept secret to the public.
The happy wife and grandma decided to reveal Rasheed Adahunse as the man behind her smile. She made the disclosure over the weekend in Lagos.
Mr Adahunse, the Comptroller and Commandant of the Customs Training College, had his birthday and retirement party at Eko Club last Sunday, and for Abeni, it was the perfect time to let out a secret she had kept for the past four years.
Her first husband was Lateef Adepoju, owner of Leaders Records, with whom she bore two children.
Abeni continued recording for Leaders until 1986 when she ended her relationship with the record label’s owner.
She married Kollington Ayinla and joined his record label, staying with him until 1994.
Mr Adahunse, the Asiwaju Adinni of Ijebu Isiwo, is the third man she is marrying.
The 62-year-old singer revealed when they met and how long she had been married to him in an interview with Kemiashefon blog.
A video on her Instagram page shows the singer, with a band, chanting the retired comptroller’s oriki (praise poetry).
She captioned, “Congratulations on your retirement and birthday celebration, comptroller Rasheed Agbolade Adahunse.”
According to the blog, Abeni married Comptroller Adahunse four years ago.
The blog reported that the singer delivered a speech at the party extolling her husband, praying for his long life and abundance, and it was in the process she revealed they are a couple, much to the surprise of guests.
She also said that despite their initial perception of each other, love conquered all.
She said, “I don’t have many words to utter; let me thank God; I will just say a bit about Alhaji Abdulrasheed Agbolade, my dearest husband. You are retired but not tired; I pray that as God joined us as husband and wife four years ago, you will live long and have abundance.
“I saw you then as a complete ‘English’ man; you saw me as a musician. But love conquered all. I have not chosen wrongly. From today, call me Abeni Idunu Ishola.”
Born 5 May 1961, Salawa Abeni hails from Ijebu Waterside in Ogun State.
She began her professional career in Waka Music when she released her debut album titled, ‘Late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed’, in 1976, on Leader Records.
It became the first recording by a female artist in Yoruba songs to sell over a million copies in Nigeria.
In a 2019 interview, when asked if she would get married again, the Waka Queen said that being divorced is not a sign of bad behaviour.
She said, “I was once married to Chief Kollington Ayinla, but we are no longer together. I don’t want to comment because the union produced wonderful children. Now, I am not married, but I have lovely kids.
“That a woman is successful in her career and still married is good. That’s a plus. On the other hand, it does not mean the woman who is divorced or single is of bad behaviour—she is not abnormal. It could be challenging, and such women should move on and stop seeing everyone as an enemy.”
In 1992, Abeni was crowned ‘Queen of Waka Music’ by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
Waka is an Islamic-influenced, traditional Yoruba music style popularised by Batile Alake; it is a much older genre than jùjú and fuji.
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